Everyone is slowly settling into the routine of lockdown life, and for many this includes their morning walk or run during the allocated exercise period. Between 6am and 9am each morning, you can see Capetonians going about their morning exercise, often with their dogs in tow.
While Spot may be enjoying the walk as well, a new issue has arisen; many residents from neighbourhoods across Cape Town are complaining about dog stools laying about on the sidewalks they wish to walk or jog on.
Residents are taking to social media to complain about stepping in dog waste while going about their exercise, and the number of areas this is happening in is steadily increasing.
Over the years, many districts within Cape Town have put out notices to encourage dog owners to dispose of their pet’s litter responsibly by carrying litter bags around with them. This seems to be something that some dog owners are not doing during lockdown, however.
Last year, the City of Cape Town finalised a number of provisions pertaining to animal by-laws. These by-laws cover the number of dogs and cats allowed per household, better protection for animals against fireworks, prevention of dog-fighting, animal identification and the removal of dog faeces in public spaces.
“Pet owners may now keep up to four dogs and four cats per property. Those who wish to keep more may apply to the City for a permit. We have also included an automatic approval for the existing number of animals on a property at the time of the implementation of the by-law. Owners will have nine months after the implementation to make application for additional animals in terms of this automatic approval,” said JP Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security.
Regarding complaints of nuisance animal behaviour, the City has drawn on international guidelines to manage the rights of pet owners and their neighbours. The by-law enables our officers to speedily resolve complaints through a system of fines, thus avoiding protracted disputes which often end up in court,” he added.
If any dog defecates in any public place, the person in control of the dog is required to immediately remove the excrement and dispose of it in a litter bin.
“The City has consulted widely and extensively with the public and with animal welfare organisations and we believe that Cape Town ‘s proposed Animal By-law is one of the most progressive in the country,” Smith said.